Content for class "break" Goes Here
November 26, 2013
Congress is on recess this week for Thanksgiving. Last week, the House of Representatives passed nine pieces of legislation, including three energy bills and legislation to reauthorize federal government funding for global HIV/AIDS programs. The Senate began to consider a defense policy bill and changed the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for all executive branch and judicial nominations, except for Supreme Court nominations.
Congress has a tight timeframe for legislative action in December. The House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Washington D.C. on December 2nd and adjourn for the year on December 13th. The Senate is not scheduled to return to Washington until December 9th and has not set a target date for adjournment. Therefore, both legislative bodies will only be in town together for one week to work on a budget deal. The ASPPA GAC team has remained engaged in budget negotiations, and is working with a coalition urging key decision-makers on the Budget Conference Committee to not include PBGC premium increases in a budget agreement.
Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) issued tax reform discussion drafts on three separate areas of the tax code: international taxation issues, tax administration issues, and cost recovery and accounting taxation issues. The tax administration discussion draft contains provisions that tighten the electronic filing of tax return requirements generally and specifically gives the Treasury Secretary increased authority to require electronic filing of employee benefit plan tax information (but not individual statements to participants). Expect Senator Baucus to release more tax reform discussion drafts in the coming weeks. House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI, 4th) has pushed back his timeframe for moving forward with his tax reform legislation until January or February of 2014. The ASPPA GAC team expects both Baucus and Camp to continue pushing hard for tax reform in this Congress and will continue to remind Members of Congress that the retirement savings tax deferral powers workplace based retirement savings.
--Andrew J. Remo, Congressional Affairs Manager
On December 3, 2013, ASPPA submitted comments to DOL, recommending simplified guidance on same-gender spouses in ERISA-covered employee benefit plans. [Comment]
On October 23, 2013, ASPPA responded to a request for comments from the IRS on proposed rules regarding electronic filings. [Comment]
On October 21, 2013, ACOPA responded to an IRS request for comments, recommending the continued publication of combined static mortality tables. [Comment]
On October 17, 2013, ASPPA submitted comments to the IRS requesting guidance on amendments that may be adopted during the year without endangering a plan's safe harbor status. [Comment]
On October 4, 2013, ASPPA submitted comments to the IRS regarding further guidance on the implementation of new rules about same-gender spouses. [Comment]